January 15, 2010

6 essential social media plug-ins for your blog

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Welcome to the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. Today we’ll talk about how to optimize your blog with mission-critical social media plug-ins.

plug-inJohn HaydonThe WordPress community consists of thousands of software developers who create free software for your blog, called plug-ins. There are hundreds of social media plug-ins, designed to display your Twitter friends, pull in your Delicious tags or even import comments on a Facebook Note back into the blog post.

Don’t go crazy with plug-ins

A word of caution with plug-ins. If you’re like me, you want to add the latest shiny plug-in to your blog. And before you know it, your blog looks like downtown Tokyo.

Two problems with adding too many plug-ins:

  • You could drive away visitors who get blinded by an abundance of shiny objects.
  • Too many plug-ins can cause performance issues on your site.

The good news about plug-ins is that you can try them out for free, and deactivate them if you run into any problems. The important thing is to focus on your blog strategy and not the latest cool gadget.

Mission-critical social media plug-ins for your blog

I used the term “mission critical” to point out several plug-ins that are important and why you should consider using them.

1TweetMeme – Guy Kawasaki loves this plug-in because it lets people easily “spread the word about your websites and blogs.” This plug-in also allows you to collect stats on how people are tweeting about your blog posts. Why mission critical? Because how people tweet about your content informs your content strategy.

tweetmeme

2AddThis – This lets folks bookmark your post on pretty much any social media site. This plug-in is critical to help you see how people share your content (which sites they’re sharing on and which posts are shared the most). Social Bookmarks, Sociable (100+ different social bookmarking sites), ShareThis, SexyBookmarks are also great bookmarking plug-ins, but don’t have the reporting that AddThis does. Why mission critical? Because you need to be active on the sites where your content is being shared.

addthis

3WPtouch iPhone Theme – This plug-in turns your blog into an iPhone application-style theme when viewed from an iPhone, iPod touch, Android or BlackBerry touch mobile device. Why mission critical? Because more and more of your readers will be reading your blog on their smart phones.

wptouch

Other social media plug-ins I use

Below are a few other plug-ins I use to make my blog more social.

4Posterize – Sends an email to the Posterous blogging service that will link to your post.

5Shorten2Ping – Allows you to update status at Ping.fm or Twitter whenever a new blog entry is published.

6AWeber Integration – Provides a simple way to add one or more AWeber forms to your sidebar and optionally enable AWeber email Web analytics for your website.

These are plug-ins that I’m using, but chances are I’m missing some good ones. What social media plugins are you using? Why? Please share in the comments.

Other great posts about social media plug-ins

Finally, ask other bloggers you trust what plug-ins they use. And again, don’t be afraid to scale back the number of plug-ins you use.

Discuss: What social media plug-ins are you using and why?

If you don’t want to miss out on the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media, please sign up.

Cross-posted from JohnHaydon.com.

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John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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  • http://twitter.com/jdlasica @jdlasica

    John, I have a completely different list of must-have WordPress plug-ins that I'm trying to find time to publish. When I do, let's compare notes here!

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  • http://pc.de/icons/ PC Pixel Icon Pack

    Excellent blog and very useful …help is appreciated.

  • http://www.planethelicoptergame.com/ Josie Abson (helicopter game)

    I really want to get my chubby paws on this! I can already feel my GPA going down until I finish the game!

  • http://www.bennihonna.com Strattera 150

    What I want to know is why I should care? I mean, not to say that what youve got to say isnt important, but I mean, its so generic. Everyones talking about this man. Give us something more, something that we can get behind so we can feel as passionately about it as you do.

  • http://www.endlessrise.com/ SEO Reseller

    The plugins that you should get are the ones that give your readers the ability to share your content in their respective social media accounts. Your content has a higher chance of spreading out like wildfire if you have those kinds of plugins.

    – Ray

  • http://contentcurationdesktop.com/ Den Nicholson

    Excellent post, not just the usual suspects, I have found a couple of useful additions to my toolbox.